|Launched||5 December 1969|
|Owned by||Sveriges Television|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV) (1969-)
720p (HDTV) (2010-)
|Audience share||10.4% (2008, MMS)|
Swedish Sign Language
|Formerly called||TV2 (1969-1996)|
|Sister channel(s)||SVT1, SVTB, SVTK, SVT24|
|Digital terrestrial||Channel 2 (SD)
Channel 62 (HD)
|Canal Digital||Channel 2|
|Com Hem||Channel 2|
Debate persisted throughout the 1960s of launching a second Swedish television channel was discussed. Some wanted the new channel to be private and funded by advertising, but it was decided that Sveriges Radio would operate the second channel and that it would be funded by the license fee as well. TV2 began broadcasting on 5 December 1969, an event known as the "channel split" (kanalklyvningen).
While TV1 was broadcast on VHF frequencies, TV2 used UHF frequencies, which meant that households had to buy a special converter box if they wanted to see TV2. The use of UHF frequencies also allowed TV2 to broadcast different programmes for different parts of the country, leading to the start Sydnytt, the first regional news programme, in 1970.
Although TV1 and TV2 were part of the same company, they were editorially independent and supposed to compete with each other. The two channels did however eventually agreed not to compete directly with each other with similar programmes in the same time slot. For example, the popular weekend entertainment shows were typically shown in Fridays on TV2 and Saturdays on TV1.
At the launch of TV2, there was a central newsdesk that broadcast news updates under the name TV-nytt in both channels, as well as the main evening newscast at 7:30 in TV1. The channels also had two independent "commenting" news programmes. In TV2 the commenting news programme was called Rapport and was broadcast five nights per week.
The schedules were overhauled in 1972, when Rapport got to take over the 7:30 newscast, soon establishing it as Sweden's leading news programme.
On July 1, 1987 the channels were changed, with Kanal 1 becoming a station only broadcasting programmes produced in Stockholm and TV2 (the Sweden-Channel) reverting to programming produced across Sweden. The two channels were supposed to compete within the same company.
For many years, TV2 had been the most watched channel in Sweden. A typical early evening on the station would include talk shows from different cities around the country, followed by regional news and Rapport, the most watched news programme in the country. However, by 1994, commercial rival TV4 had become the largest channel.
With increasing competition from commercial channels, SVT joined its channels together again and renamed them as SVT1 and SVT2 in 1996. The previous arrangement of broadcasting programmes from the Swedish regions was abolished and it was possible to broadcast any programme on either of the channels. Because of that, Aktuellt at 6 o'clock was moved to SVT2 and some editions of Rapport were also moved to SVT1.
In 2001 SVT2 was extensively revamped with a new on-air look and new programming schedules. Rapport was moved to SVT1 and the 9 o'clock Aktuellt, which had a smaller audience, was moved to SVT2. Many other popular shows where also moved from SVT2 to SVT1 (such as Expedition: Robinson). These changes made SVT2 more specialist in nature and less watched than before.
Programming schedules on SVT2 were changed once again in 2003, in an attempt to increase the channel's popularity.
A schedule overhaul on 26 August 2008 allowed SVT2 to become even more specialist. The "access primetime" slot between 6 p.m. and 7.30 p.m., which featured news, regional news and a talk show, was shifted to SVT1. In its place came a documentary slot and a daily quiz show.
From December 1969 until January 2005, SVT2 utilised live in-vision continuity presenters. The practice was scrapped and replaced by pre-recorded voice overs and a greater use of idents.
This logo, designed by Sid Sutton, was introduced in 1980 and was used un various forms up until 2001.
Programming on SVT2 is generally more specialist than on the primary SVT1. The station's output consists of most cultural programming, programming for minorities for speakers of Sami language, Finnish language and Sign language, some independent film and regional opt-out programming.
SVT2 does not broadcast 24 hours. It broadcasts on weekdays at 9:00 am, 9.30 a.m. or 11:00 am to approximately 12.00 a.m, 12.30 a.m., 1.00 a.m., 1.30 a.m. or approximately 3.00 am. For Saturdays, it also broadcast in the morning or afternoon at 11.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 12.00 p.m., 12.30p.m., 1.00 p.m. or approximately 3.15 p.m. to approximately 12.00 a.m. or approximately 3.00 am. For Sundays, it also broadcast at 8.00 a.m. with Bolibompa until 8.25 am to approximately 12.30 am or approximately 3.00 am while SVT1 broadcast round-the-clock.
At 5.25 p.m., SVT2 begins broadcasting with three minority-language news bulletins: Ođđasat (in Sami), Nyhetstecken (in Swedish Sign Language) and Uutiset (in Finnish), followed by a regional news update and Aktuellt at 6pm. Aktuellt is followed by a 45 minute features slot, usually utilised for chat shows with older audience.
An arts news bulletin Kulturnyheterna airs at 7pm with the main 20-minute regional news bulletin broadcast at 7:10pm. This is followed by another 30 minutes slot with more light programming. Between 8pm and 9pm, various programming is broadcast.
The late evening edition of Aktuellt is shown at 9pm, followed at 9.30 by a half-hour drama and entertainment slot. Sports news (Sportnytt) follows at 10pm and the late regional news is broadcast at 10:15pm. On Tuesday night, SVT2 shows independent films under the title Filmklubben ("The Movie Club"), from 10:25pm.
SVT2's regional news services are:
- Årsrapport 2008 (PDF), Mediamätning i Skandinavien
- SVT (Swedish)